The Translation of a Savage was written in the early autumn of 1893, at Hampstead Heath, where for over twenty years I have gone, now and then, when I wished to be in an atmosphere conducive to composition. Hampstead is one of the parts of London which has as yet been scarcely invaded by the lodging-house keeper. It is very difficult to get apartments at Hampstead; it is essentially a residential place; and, like Chelsea, has literary and artistic character all its own. I think I have seen more people carrying books in their hands at Hampstead than in any other spot in England; and there it was, perched above London, with eyes looking towards the Atlantic over the leagues of land and the thousand leagues of sea, that I wrote 'The Translation of a Savage'. It was written, as it were, in one concentrated effort, a ceaseless writing. It was, in effect, what the Daily Chronicle said of 'When Valmond Came to Pontiac', a tour de force. It belonged to a genre which compelled me to dispose of a thing in one continuous effort, or the impulse, impetus, and fulness of movement was gone. The writing of a book of the kind admitted of no invasion from extraneous sources, and that was why, while writing 'The Translation of a Savage' at Hampstead, my letters were only delivered to me once a week. I saw no friends, for no one knew where I was; but I walked the heights, I practised with my golf clubs on the Heath, and I sat in the early autumn evenings looking out at London in that agony of energy which its myriad lives represented. It was a good time.
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About the Author
Sir Horatio Gilbert George Parker (1862 - 1932), known as Gilbert Parker, Canadian novelist and British politician, was born at Camden East, Addington, Ontario, the son of Captain J. Parker, R.A. The best of his novels are those in which he first took for his subject the history and life of the French Canadians and his permanent literary reputation rests on the fine quality, descriptive and dramatic, of his Canadian stories. Pierre and his People (1892) was followed by Mrs. Falchion (1893), The Trail of the Sword (1894), When Valmond came to Pontiac (1895), An Adventurer of Icy North (1895) and The Seats of the Mighty (1896, dramatized in 1897). The Seats of the Mighty was a historical novel depicting the English conquest of Quebec with James Wolfe and the Marquis de Montcalm as two of the characters. The Lane that Had No Turning (1900), a collection of short stories set in the fictional Quebec town of Pontiac, contains some of his best work and is viewed by some as being in the tradition of such Gothic classics as Stoker's Dracula and James's The Turn of the Screw. In The Battle of the Strong (1898) he broke new ground, laying his scene in the Channel Islands. His chief later books were The Right of Way (1901), Donovan Pasha (1902), The Ladder of Swords (1904), The Weavers (1907), Northern Lights (1909) and The Judgment House (1913). Parker had three that made it into the top 10 on the annual list of bestselling novels in the United States, two of which were on it for two years in a row.